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American Football (LP3)

by American Football

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of American Football (LP3) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Deluxe 2xLP Edition
    Double vinyl mastered at 45 RPM
    Pressed on 180-gram black vinyl
    Expanded packaging
    Gatefold jacket with printed inner sleeves

    Includes unlimited streaming of American Football (LP3) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of American Football (LP3) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Cassette + Digital Album

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  • T-Shirt/Apparel

    BRAND: Bella + Canvas
    SHIRT COLOR: Black
    INK COLORS: Red and Navy
    FIT: Unisex
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1.
Two wet silhouettes splayed on the bed sheet The crime of the century Forever unkempt O, the muscle memory it must take to stay close to me... I’m a cloud when you come to me Tell me again—what’s the allure of inconsequential love? I’m a fool for your pageantry Tell me again—what’s the allure of inconsequential love? O, the muscle memories continue to haunt me... O, the muscle memories continue to haunt me... O, the muscle memories continue to haunt me... I promise (the day will come) as soon as the war ends I’ll find you (our denouement) and we’ll break laws again as civilians
2.
Forever has to wait I can’t face another day All the flowers you brought me one by one fell asleep without me Truth or dare—love is the cross you bear? J’ai mal au coeur C’est la faute de l’amour You’re every wave to ever rise Your slow retreat is no surprise Forever has to wait The clock on my wall is stuck on yesterday All the ballads you sing to me one by one slip into a minor key Truth or dare—love is the cross you bear? J’ai mal au coeur C’est la faute de l’amour You’re every wave to ever rise I’ll watch you peak and then subside
3.
Sensitivity deprived I can’t feel a thing inside I blamed my father in my youth Now, as a father, I blame the booze I have become uncomfortably numb Whose ugly side is the ugliest? Whose hands are tied to a contortionist? Sensitivity deprived All my sympathy prescribed I used to struggle in my youth Now I’m used to struggling for two I have become uncomfortably numb The lessons are so much less obvious the further I get from home How will I exist without consequence? I’ll let you know… We were gentle to begin Then I pushed you around to break you in Now whenever I try to be clear with you I only end up feeling see-through I’ve tried but you’ve won Comatose, like father like son The lessons are so much less obvious the further I get from home How will I exist? Blacked out? Redacted? I’ll make new friends in the ambulance
4.
There’s more of you in me than a desperate thief could ever set free Now I’m your burden Selfishness is inherited like skinny lips and tattoos I’m sorry for leaving I’m sorry I’ve one foot out the door I’m unapologetically sorry for everything All of your best attributes look better on me than they ever did on you We can be each other’s other burden Selfishness is inherited What could I do? (I didn’t catch it kissing Jenny in the closet) (I didn’t learn it at school) I’m sorry you need me For hanging on your arm A child you can’t ignore I’m unapologetically sorry for everything I’m sorry for aging For growing more and more disinterested in celebrity and politic I’m unapologetically yours Maybe more than anything I’m sorry you love me Heir apparent to the throne The King of All Alone...
5.
Doom in full bloom I’m kerosene You’re burning bright A dull guillotine We’re still alive Doom in full bloom “Only you.” “No, me!” I learn my lessons late I’m out of time I can’t see straight and you’re out of sight “Only you.” “No, me!” Only you know me... We got married in the garden that you grew up in I’ve never seen so far ahead of me or been so blind Now you’re buried in the library just so you could hide from me I’ve never been so alone So desperate to be home
6.
The whispers unfold I can’t hear you Pained and pleading I can’t see you So self-defeating I don’t need you I miss communication Uh oh...a grim conversation is inevitable The whispers unfold I can’t hear you Protagonist unknown I can’t read you If every quarrel’s presupposed... I don’t believe you ...is this communication? I’m fluent in subtlety I can diffuse most anything, but you make my head explode A mass grave miscommunication I can’t hear you I can’t see you I can’t feel you I don’t know you
7.
Mine To Miss 05:23
I miss you like a past life Now I can’t remember if you were ever mine to miss I miss you like we both died Our time together a star-crossed endeavor My head is an unmade bed Abandoned arms and legs and intimate things finding their way into these twisted sheets I need a maid or another mother more than the strain of an absent lover My head is an empty bed Just the thought of being seen is more than I can take I never met a mirror that I couldn’t break I’ll miss you in the next life
8.
Life Support 05:57
I’m looking for the words that I’ve lost on you Been digging in the dirt Now I’m buried in reminiscence I can’t breathe on my own but life support is such a bore I’ve cried for you For me For strangers I’ve cried in every room When will it end? Relentless adolescence Disappointment and grief come easy Forgiveness is a mystery

about

The quietest voices can be the most durable.

American Football’s original triumph, on their 1999 self-titled debut, was to reunite two shy siblings: emo and post-rock. It was a pioneering album where lyrical clarity was obscured and complicated by the stealth musical textures surrounding it.

Like Slint’s Spiderland, or Codeine’s The White Birch, even Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock, American Football asked far more questions than it cared to answer. But there wasn’t a band around anymore to explain it, anyway. The three young men who made the album – Mike Kinsella, Steve Holmes, and Steve Lamos – split up pretty much on its release.

Fifteen years later, American Football reunited (now as a four-piece, with the addition of Nate Kinsella). They played far larger shows than in their original incarnation and recorded their long-anticipated second album, 2016’s American Football (LP2). The release was widely praised, but the band members still felt like their best work was yet to come.

‘I feel like the second album was us figuring it out,’ says Nate. ‘For me, it wasn’t quite done. I knew there was still more.’

Enter American Football (LP3). ‘We put a lot of time and a lot of energy into it,’ says Mike. ‘We were all thoughtful about what we wanted to put out there. Last time, it was figuring out how to use all of our different arms. This time, we were like – Ok we have these arms, let’s use them.’ The band used the same producer, Jason Cupp, and recorded the album at the same studio (Arc Studios in Omaha, Nebraska) as its predecessor – yet they approached it in a markedly different way. There was a determination to let the songs breathe, to trust in ideas finding their own pace. The final result is a definite, and deliberate, stretching of the band.

As a result, LP3 is less obviously tethered to the band’s past than the second album. An immediate contrast between LP3 and its two predecessors is its cover. The two previous albums featured the exterior and interior of a residence in the band’s original hometown of Urbana, Illinois (now attracting fans for pilgrimages and photo opportunities), by the photographer Chris Strong. But American Football knew that LP3 was an outside record. Instead of the familiar house, this time the cover photo (again by Strong) features open, rolling fields on Urbana’s borders. It is a sign of the album’s magnitude in sound, and of the band’s boldness in breaking away from home comforts.

American Football also joked that LP3’s genre was ‘post-house’, because of this very conscious visual break. But, in a strange way, there are links in LP3 with an actual post-house genre: shoegaze. The more exploratory members of the original British shoegaze scene were inspired by the dreamtime and circularity of house music (ambient house in particular), cherishing its sonic possibilities. That spirit drips into LP3, most obviously on ‘I Can’t Feel You’, a collaboration with Rachel Goswell of Slowdive.

The album also features Hayley Williams from Paramore on the album’s catchiest moment, ‘Uncomfortably Numb’, and Elizabeth Powell, of the Québécoise act Land Of Talk. Mike wrote lyrics in French especially for her.

LP3 is contemplative, rich, expressive, yet with a queasy undercurrent. It is heavy with expectancy, revealing its ideas slowly, eliciting the hidden stories people carry around with them. ‘I feel like my lyric writing has changed a lot over the years,’ says Mike. ‘The goal is to be conversational, maybe to state something giant and heavy, but in a very plain way. But, definitely in this record, I keep things a little more vague.’ As on the first album, the lyrics on LP3 may seem confessional and concentrated, but the more you scrutinize them, the further their meaning slinks away. Or, as Mike tellingly sings on ‘I Can’t Feel You”: I’m fluent in subtlety.

‘Somewhere along the way we moved from being a reunion band to just being a band,’ says Steve Holmes. American Football is now a bona fide ongoing focus, and they are making some of the best music of their lives. American Football (LP3) stands with two other rare reunion successes – Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine’s mbv – as a fine example of how a band refinding one another can augment, rather than taint, their legacy.

‘I think that there are those albums, or the music that you heard when you were younger, and they imprint on you,’ says Nate. ‘And no matter where you go, or what you do they’re always there.’ He is talking of Steve Reich – an early and ongoing influence on American Football – but he might as well be reflecting what is said of his own band, and the ardent following they inspire. American Football stands as an enduring symbol of elusive emotional landscapes, where introspection can be as dramatic as confrontation.

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released March 22, 2019

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